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Man chosen as SUNY Canton acting president to take job in Oregon

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CANTON - The man chosen to lead SUNY Canton has taken a job in Oregon and will not be coming back to the north country.

Jeremy D. Brown, who was to take on the position of acting president on June 1, has been named president of Portland Community College in Oregon.

“It’s regrettable that Dr. Brown’s selection as acting president did not work out as hoped, however the chancellor will act quickly to nominate a successor for board approval, and the search for a permanent president this fall will continue as planned,” SUNY spokesman David D. Doyle said in an emailed statement.

Mr. Brown served as SUNY Canton’s provost from 2003-2007. He would have received a $185,000 salary with a $4,000 housing allowance as the search for a full-time president commenced.

Mr. Brown was chosen by the SUNY Board of Trustees in March to replace Carli S. Schiffner, the interim president who served less than a year after longtime president Joseph L. Kennedy retired in 2012.

Mr. Brown was named active president, which means he could have been chosen to stay in the position. Interim presidents are not eligible to be named president after their short tenure ends.

When Mr. Brown was made active president, SUNY officials were aware that he was a leading candidate for the PCC presidency and the same job at Lake Region State College in Devils Lake, N.D., SUNY Canton spokesman Gregory E. Kie said.

“Obviously, (SUNY) wasn’t his first choice, and he made us aware of that during the entire interview process,” Deanna Palm, chair of the PCC presidential search committee, said in an a Portland Tribune newspaper article Wednesday.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and the board of trustees will choose an interim or acting president soon, according to Mr. Doyle.

“SUNY will ensure the leadership at Canton is consistent and seamless. We have every intention of identifying a candidate before June 1,” Mr. Doyle said.

Ms. Zimpher has yet to issue authorization for the SUNY Canton College Council to begin the lengthy search for a full-time president.

“It’s a disappointment, because it leaves SUNY Canton in a very unstable situation,” said David T. Button, Canton town supervisor and member of the Save Our SUNY Canton task force. “The school has been hurt over the past two years by the uncertainty related to its leadership and its future.”

The Save Our SUNY Canton task force was created to convince Albany to preserve the college’s independence and ensure a local voice in presidential searches.

Mr. Brown could not be reached for comment.

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